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John Vlahos

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VLAHOS John Vlahos, award-winning screen writer of live television plays during the "Golden Age" of Television died suddenly on Thursday, April 8, 2004, at his Westport home of 50 years. Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1917, he went to work early in the family restaurant. Even so, he found time to learn the violin and was concertmaster in school orchestras. He managed to visit every church in town and read nearly every book in the local library. He also acted in school plays and those of the townOs Little Theatre. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, he supported himself at various jobs while struggling to be a New York actor. He became a writer, able to incorporate the rich experience of his youth into his plays. When World War II was declared, he served as a lieutenant, USNR, for three years, two of them in the South Pacific, where he commanded a unit responsible for all fleet codes. After the war, he began to amass a large body of writing, including sketches for New Faces, a Broadway musical review, 17 film credits, 70 radio credits and 52 network television live and film dramas. He wrote the pilot for the series, The Nurses, which ran for two years. He also wrote more than 200 episodes for various daytime shows. His plays won many awards among them the Sylvania Award for Best Comedy, and Emmy for The Defenders, an Ohio State Radio-TV Award for Best Documentary, a Freedom Foundation Award for Best Historic Family Series, an Institution for Education Award for Distinguished Radio Writing, and the Ford Foundation Award for playwriting. He was also the Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wittenberg University. During his life in Westport, Mr. Vlahos served on the library board, the Boy Scout board, as acted as troop leader for the Cub Scouts. He created numerous religious liturgies, which were performed for the most part at the Unitarian Church in Westport. His wife of 56 years is Olivia Vlahos. They met in 1939 at the Old Wharf Theatre, in Provicetown, Mass. They have three children, Dr. Michael Vlahos and his wife, Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, Melissa Vlahos and her husband, Dr. Donald Siwek, and Stephanie Vlahos and her husband, Kevin Peters. His also survived by three lovely grandchildren, Kelsey Siwek 12, Max Siwek 11, and Ian Vlahos 1 year old. He leaves a sister, Maxine Stamas and her husband Nick; a brother, Lester Vlahos; and a gorgeous bouquet of nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Boys Scouts of America, Fine Arts Radio WMNR in Monroe, and the American Printing House for the Blind. Interment is private. JohnOs family likes to remember the time during televisionOs "Golden Age" when viewers wrote not to the actors of plays, but to the authors. One of JohnOs plays, the Bend in the Road, about a retired minister and his wife, elicited this comment from a rabbi in New Orleans. "Thank you for making articulate our lives, thank you for making articulate our problems, thank you for revealing all to see our feelings.
Published in Connecticut Post on Apr. 13, 2004
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